Fictional snapshot of a carer’s life is launched

A new short story by one of Scotland’s most talented writers, which highlights issues faced by those who care in the community, has been co-published by the charity Artlink and the Scottish Book Trust.

Anne Donovan, author of the award winning novel Buddha Da, was commissioned to write the piece by Artlink, the charity organisation that supports the rights of people who experience disability to access the arts. The result was But, a short story that presents a fictional snapshot of a carer’s life, shining a light on some of the issues, feelings, and frustrations faced by those who care for people with learning disabilities.

The writing in But was informed by time spent by the author with carers of people with learning disabilities over a period of two months. Through these interactions, Donovan gained an insight into the lives of those who care. The resulting story is an affecting and thought provoking glimpse of the “forgotten ones”, the strong but tired legion of heroes and heroines for whom caring is a round-the-clock, often lifelong, responsibility.

But, dedicated ‘to carers everywhere’ by Donovan, will be distributed to all MSPs, social work departments and policy makers in the Scottish Executive and will also be made available to download on various internet sites.

Alison Stirling, project director at Artlink, said:

“This is the first time Artlink has approached an established writer and we’ve been hugely impressed by the story Anne has produced and the manner in which she has brought these important issues to the fore. Our intention was to find someone to make the carers – and the issues they face on a daily basis – real in the minds of readers. Anne has undoubtedly achieved this in But.{mospagebreak}

“During the time she spent researching the story, Anne observed certain recurring themes and frustrations common to many of those who spend a lifetime caring. I’m sure carers will recognise and empathise with the story’s narrator, making connections with their own lives, and hopefully readers will gain a heightened understanding of the circumstances it describes.

“The involvement of Scottish Book Trust was a real bonus as they have a great breadth of knowledge and experience when it comes to commissioning authors. They quickly identified Anne and put us in touch with her, and it was soon quite apparent we had found the right person for the job.”

Marc Lambert, chief executive of Scottish Book Trust, added:

“When Artlink approached us for advice, we appreciated exactly what they were trying to achieve and recognised immediately that Anne would be an ideal author for the project. Anne is a very skilled proponent of the short story, a medium which has the power to really connect with people and place them in the shoes of others, where other mediums sometimes fail.”

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